As the country (and the world) is suddenly in the throes of what is quickly becoming the worldwide pandemic knows as the Coronavirus, we are all searching for the ability to step back, find some levity, and see some (ahem) leadership. While we are seeing Broadway go dark and weekly nightlife shows suddenly cancelled, we are seeing our LGBT community directly affected and subsequently, coming together in crisis.
This is of course, nothing new. The LGBT community always seems to be able to cut through the noise and come together in the midst of crisis. During the early days of the AIDS epidemic, groups like ACT UP rose from the ashes to speak for an entire generation. After 09/11, tLGBT nightlife spaces were where so many found refuge and community. Now, as we all seem to start to become keenly aware to a suddenly brand new way of living (albeit temporarily) two of our community’s favorite LGBT comedians (and one beloved drag performer) are speaking out.
Adam Sank is a New York City based comedian and host of his own podcast (The Adam Sank Show). As a stand-up comedian, Sank looked out at packed houses for years. As it becomes a stark reality that many of those same houses may be virtually empty very soon, Sank delivered a pointed, fact-based, and ultimately inspiring message about hope and a potential “new normal” as the way of living we knew only a few days ago seems now, like years ago.
The full context goes on to say:
The U.S Stock Market shut down for a week, as did commercial air travel. Markets around the world plummeted. Gas and oil prices spiked over 25 percent. In New York, hotel occupancy fell below 40 percent, and 3,000 employees were laid off almost immediately. In the following three months, 430,000 jobs were lost in New York, and there was $2.8 billion in lost wages. Overall, the GDP for New York City is estimated to have declined by $30.3 billion during the last quarter od 2001. We went to war – with not one but two countries (one of which had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks). And those wars lasted decades. One of them continues. Our terror didn’t end after the second tower fell. For days and weeks, we expected further attacks. And we got them… after a fashion; deadly anthrax-laced letters began to arrive in the mail, killing five people. Post offices and buildings through which the letters had passed were shut down for weeks. We were all quite literally afraid of our mail. The one thing I remember everyone’s saying is, “Things will never feel normal again.” My point in saying all of this is, we got through it. And even though we could never go back to our carefree pre-9/11 days, things did eventually feel normal – or at least they came to feel like a new normal, to which we all adapted. (I am, of course, excepting those who lost loved ones in the attacks or the wars; I wouldn’t presume to speak for them.) Humans are an incredibly resilient species. And our current president and his henchmen notwithstanding, the worst of times tends to bring out the best in people. I felt that after Sept. 11, and I feel it now. Anything you’re feeling right now is justified and valid. But hold onto your hope and your humanity. Continue to take care of yourself and others. None of us knows what lies ahead, but we will, somehow and in some way, get through it. And we will adapt to a new normal. We always do. ❤️
Comedian Brad Loekle is hilarious and beloved, know for both his gigs at numerous New York City haunts as well as his countless shows on and at LGBT cruises and resorts As the cruise industry is bound to be directly affected by the pandemic, Loekle has posted a hilarious and very honest post. His words not only put the events of today’s world in true perspective, but the final sentence of his post are the kinds of inspiring words we all need to hang on to when we’re seemingly overwhelmed by an onslaught of very scary and confusing information and news.
Finally, RuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorite Nina West sums up the mantra performers of all mediums could stand to follow today, as she steps away from her current shows.
“I know drag and the art of drag will always persist, and so will we”.
Go Big. Be Kind. Stay Healthy.
For more info on Nina West click here
For more info on Adam Sank click here
For more info on Brad Loekle click here